Daybreak excerpt

Chloë drew a thumb down the wine bottle and left a beady trail through the thick condensation. Her heart raced, its beat almost painful against her ribcage. Tears pricked her eyes as she remembered the blissful numbness of her experience the night she took the codeine with the wine. And overdosed. She reminded herself, You almost died…But the peace was so worth it. She hadn’t ever in her short life felt anything like it. Granted Chloë was very young; she hadn’t begun smoking pot or drinking wine with her cousins and friends until last Fall when she had begun to awaken near the beginning of her sophomore year in high school. But the highest high she had felt thus far was nothing compared to the night she tasted death.

Chloë remembered little of the actual, physical events of that night. She had been in this world then, but no longer of it. She remembered Mandy, full of apologies for being late, coming into her bedroom and watching the panic spread over her cousin’s features as the young woman realized Chloë was unresponsive. The stored memories filtered through into her consciousness appeared to her much like a move. She was detached, not part of her own material existence. And the way she felt that night was blue heaven, purple euphoric peace wound in layers of supple, gauzy cotton which muted everything outside of it. No harsh glaring lights permeated, no ear-splitting mechanical alarms or digital beeps, not even any human voices. Everyone seemed to float, as if weightless, as they moved into and out of her limited field of vision, and although their mouths moved, they emitted no sound. Chloë had wanted nothing more than to close her eyes, to call into the tranquil sleep that tugged at her. But ice cold saline coursed through her veins to flush out the chemicals, to push away death, to force her back into consciousness. But oh, she was enveloped in the most perfect love she had ever known, and she felt whole, needed. Before this, she had never know she was incomplete, that in her fifteen years she had lacked anyone or anything, including love.

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